Sebastian and Rain read three books and kind of like them

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Sebastian and Rain won’t let me write an introduction. They insist on getting straight into talking about the books they read.

Rain: You talked so much last time, this time I should get to start.

Sebastian peels a grape and slips it into his mouth.

Rain: We read Divergent by Veronica Roth. Did you know that right now it has 44,555 reviews on Amazon? That’s so freaking many!

Sebastian: And I’m not really sure why. The whole book was rather silly and juvenile.

Rain: It’s a young adult book. It’s not aimed at old grouches like you.

Sebastian: It should still make sense.

Rain: …

Sebastian: So you admit it didn’t really make sense. Then why did you like it so much?

Rain: I didn’t say I liked it that much, but I enjoyed it.

Sebastian peels another grape.

Rain: The idea was unique and interesting. A society divided into factions based on personality types?

Sebastian: It was derivative and it would never work. People aren’t that straightforward.

Rain: Shut up and eat your grapes. So it had a big idea. Like it or hate it.

Sebastian: Hate it.

Rain throws a grape at him.

Sebastian: You clearly have nothing to say about this book except that you kind of liked it, so let explain what I think it has going for it.

Rain crams a handful of grapes into her mouth. She chews and pieces fall out.

Sebastian: Wish fulfillment. Take a plain, self-effacing girl and have her join a bunch of hooligans. Make her brave and make her special. Like, mystically special. Then have her handsome instructor fall for her. This is every teenage girl’s wet dream.

Rain: So?

Sebastian: It’s cheap entertainment. Empty calories.

Rain: Ah, so you admit it was entertaining.

Sebastian: Not so much for me, but for some people. You know what else I thought was interesting–and I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently.

Rain: I’m sure you’re going to tell me, probably at great length.

Sebastian: The way character was conveyed. Because their society was built around people’s personalities, the characters spent a lot of time talking about each other’s personality. It happened naturally and I rather liked it, though it was a little crude.

Rain: I thought you’d hate that aspect.

Sebastian: Well, I didn’t. Now stop eating my grapes. Are we going to talk about the other books.

Sebastian reaches into the bowl for grapes and his hand comes out empty.

Rain: Yes. We read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. We started at 8:30pm and didn’t turn out the light until we’d finished reading it. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t regret reading so late one bit.

Sebastian: Boris says we finally went to sleep at 12:50am.

Rain: That’s the book they were talking about when they said you won’t be able to put it down. I didn’t think it would be my kind of book at all, but the fact it’s a mundane genre didn’t matter.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Sebastian: The writing was excellent. It was one of the few books I’ve read recently in which I wasn’t pulled out of the story by clunky prose. Though the ending was rather obvious.

Rain: What are you talking about? You had no idea who did it until right at the end.

Sebastian: I knew it wasn’t the obvious person.

Rain: That doesn’t mean anything. It never is. That was a Good book–with a random, annoying capital G. Though I can’t say I liked the story that much and all the sleeping around was icky.

Sebastian: It isn’t art if half the characters aren’t sleeping around.

Rain: You belong in a museum. Or an asylum.

Sebastian: I’m going to let that slide because if I don’t we won’t have time to talk about A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.

Rain: Not messing around, are you?

Sebastian: I’m hungry.

Rain: I don’t know what I thought of that book. Not much happened, but that was kind of okay because parts were very funny and the cat was awesome.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Sebastian: Things happened. You don’t need dragons to have a good plot.

Rain: But they help.

Sebastian: Shut up about dragons. A Man Called Ove was well written, warm, and witty–

Rain: Even though not everyone was sleeping around?

Sebastian: (goes red) It’s Swedish. Different rules apply for art over there.

Rain: It was about a grumpy old git. It was…

Sebastian: The word you’re looking for is “heartwarming”.

Rain: Now I’m sorry I didn’t force you to talk about The 5th Wave. And I’m glad I ate your grapes.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

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Author: A.S. Akkalon

By day, A.S. Akkalon works in an office where the computers outnumber the suits of armour more than two-to-one. By night, she puts dreams of medieval castles, swords, and dragons onto paper.

10 thoughts on “Sebastian and Rain read three books and kind of like them”

  1. Aw, I’m glad Rain and Sebastian enjoyed A Man Called Ove, even with the sad lack of dragons. It’s a lovely book! Oddly, though, my enthusiasm for reading Divergent (which has been sitting on my Kindle for so long it’s been buried under pages of other titles) has not markedly increased.

  2. I admit with chagrin to having read none of these books. It’s not that I don’t want to read them, it’s more that I would like to have already read them. There are many books like that, ones that I don’t necessarily hunger to read but that I wish were already uploaded into my neocortex. I’m sure Elon Musk is working on that.

  3. Great way to make a book review more fun. My wife read A Man Called Ove, I think she liked it but it took her forever to read it because it was kind of slow. I have been intrigued by Girl on the Train, but it sounded a bit like Gone Girl which I read in like two days but left me feeling icky.

    1. I had my doubts as I was reading A Man Called Ove – it is slow and quiet, but it’s also quietly delightful and I’m glad I stuck it out. Gone Girl is another one I think I should read… when I get around to it. It’s funny how some books are like that – you might not be able to put them down, but you don’t come away from them feeling good. When people read my books (please let people read my books one day!) I want them to come away feeling great.

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